William McSwain confirmed by Senate as U.S. attorney in Philadelphia

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate confirmed William McSwain as the new U.S. attorney in Philadelphia Tuesday night, making him the face of federal law enforcement in the region.

McSwain, a former prosecutor who more recently worked at the Center City law firm Drinker, Biddle & Reath, was confirmed by a voice vote.

The 48-year-old will lead an office of 130 lawyers that handles federal prosecutions and civil matters in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, Berks, Bucks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties.

He was recommended by Pennsylvania Sens. Pat Toomey, a Republican, and Bob Casey, a Democrat, and nominated by President Trump in December.

“Bill McSwain will make an outstanding U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,” Toomey said Tuesday night. “In addition to his vast experience in both the private and public sectors, Mr. McSwain is committed to the rule of law and dedicated to ensuring everyone is treated fairly under it. I appreciate my colleagues supporting his nomination.”

Said Casey: “I am pleased that this important post has been filled. Mr. McSwain has extensive legal and prosecutorial experience and I believe he will work to uphold the rule of law and ensure the fair administration of justice.”

Though much of his recent work has focused on white-collar defense, McSwain gained notice with his defense of traditionally conservative causes – including legal fights over the Boy Scouts’ ability to ban gay members and efforts by Chester County to preserve a Ten Commandments plaque on the courthouse façade.

A former Marine infantry officer, McSwain, of West Chester, earned his law degree from Harvard and was an editor of the Law Review there.